Is Black Gram (Urad Dal) Good during Pregnancy?

Black Gram (Urad Dal) in Pregnancy – Benefits and Precautions

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Mukhija (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Black gram (ural dal) is a lentil that contains essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are not made naturally by the human body. Ural dal tastes delicious and can prove to be highly beneficial for a woman during pregnancy. Now that you’re pregnant and eating everything with caution, you’ll want to know, if you can eat black gram during pregnancy or not, and if yes, then how much. There are some people who believe that it’s not safe to consume urad dal when expecting, but is that true? Let’s find out!

Is it Safe to Eat Urad Dal During Pregnancy?

Urad dal can be safely consumed by a pregnant woman, with some precautions, of course. We have covered those precautions in this article. But before you read those precautions, take a look at some of the important nutrients present in ural dal and how eating this dal in moderation can benefit you during pregnancy.

Important Nutrients Present in Black Gram

Black gram (urad dal) is not just rich in fatty acids, but has many other nutrients too:

Nutrients Nutritional value 
Essential fatty acids One cup contains 566 mg of omega-3 and 43 mg of Omega-6
Calories 324 g per 100 gms
Total Fat 1.6 g per 100 gms
Sodium 18.9 mg per 100 gms
Potassium 1157 mg per 100 gms
Total Carbohydrate 51 g per 100 gms
Protein 23.06 g per 100 gms
Calcium 55.67 mg per 100 gms
Iron 4.67 per 100 gms
Vitamin B-6 0.22 mg per 100 gms
Magnesium 173 mg per 100 gms

Source: IFCT, 2017 by the Indian Council of Medical Research

8 Health Benefits of Urad Dal During Pregnancy

Packed with so many nutrients, urad dal is a power food that has the following benefits to offer during pregnancy:

1. It helps in foetal brain growth.

The essential fatty acids in urad dal helps in the foetal brain development during pregnancy.

2. It helps in digestion.

Fibre-rich urad dal helps sustain good gut bacteria that help with the digestion of food.

3. It may help keep cholesterol levels in check.

The fatty acids can reduce high cholesterol levels in pregnant women who are at the risk of cholesterol problems.

4. It may help strengthen the bones.

Urad dal helps the body absorb calcium and has many minerals that keep the bones strong and healthy. Having urad dal in moderation during pregnancy can strengthen your bones.

5. It may help prevent anaemia.

The iron content in urad dal can help prevent anaemia in pregnant women. It can also provide you with energy.

6. It helps prevent constipation.

Black gram or urad dal is a good source of fibre and magnesium. Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy, but it can be prevented by having fibre-rich urad dal. Fibre eases bowel movements and magnesium too helps ease constipation. 

7. It may provide energy and reduce pain.

It has a lot of energy-producing nutrients for pregnant women to beat fatigue. Urad dal also has certain properties that relieve pain and inflammation. Its high protein content gives pregnant women the extra protein required for the production of new cells.

8. It keeps skin and hair healthy.

The antioxidants in urad dal prevent various diseases. Antioxidants fight ageing, cell, and tissue damage. They also help in keeping our hair and skin healthy. It is also good for the nervous system.

Precautions to Take While Consuming Black Gram During Pregnancy

Urad dal should be washed well and cooked until it boils thoroughly. This is because it may contain dangerous bacteria like E. Coli, Listeria or Salmonella. Cooking it to the boiling point may destroy them. These bacteria can be especially harmful to pregnant women because they can cause diseases that may induce pre-term labour, miscarriage, stillbirth and other serious problems in a newborn baby. If you must eat this dal, try and make it at home and enjoy warm ural dal. If you’re eating it in a restaurant, ensure that it is freshly prepared and well-cooked!

Do not eat too much of urad dal either during pregnancy as an excess of anything during pregnancy is bad. Eat it in moderation, especially, if you are prone to acidity during pregnancy.

Urad dal can be cooked in many ways. It can also be used for tempering dishes (tadka) when you prepare other items, mainly vegetarian side dishes. It is a good source of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and Vitamin B6. And you can consume it in moderation during pregnancy, keeping in mind the precautions mentioned above. You can also check with your doctor or nutritionist before including it in your diet.

Also Read: Eating Rajma (Kidney Beans) during Pregnancy

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